Kuwait seeks site for $9bn China mega refinery

Kuwait Petroleum International officials to visit Guangdong Province for research.
Kuwait seeks site for $9bn China mega refinery
REFINERY PLAN: Kuwaiti officials are to travel to China on a fact finding mission. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 21 Jun 2009 06:08 AM

Officials from Kuwait will travel to China soon to review locations for a $9bn mega refinery and petrochemical complex project.

The development in south China's Guangdong Province is expected to win approval for construction later this year, a Kuwaiti diplomat has announced.

"The province's southwestern cities of Zhanjiang, Maoming and Taishan in the Jiangmen municipality, as well as Daya Bay of Huizhou in the southeast part are on the list," Kuwaiti Consul General in Guangzhou Nameer Al-Quraini told KUNA News Agency referring to possible sites for the project.

He also said Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) plans to send a delegation of experts and technicians to the four cities for field research next week in a bid to proceed with the stalled project.

The giant Sino-Kuwaiti plant was originally planned to be built in the Nansha district of provincial capital Guangzhou. However, amid growing concern over the environment impact on the densely populated area earlier this year, the Guangdong government suggested Zhanjiang as the new site for the project.

Given its infrastructure, transport links and environmental approvals, which are considered to be KPI's top priority, Zhanjiang would be far better positioned than the other cities to be the selected for the joint venture project, according to Al-Quraini.

With an eye to starting operations in 2013, the envisaged 300,000 barrels a day (bpd) refinery will be designed to process 100 percent Kuwaiti crude and the ethylene cracker unit is to have an annual production capacity of one million tonnes.

The joint venture by state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Asia's top refiner Sinopec and international oil giants aims to gain Chinese government approval for the project in 2009, Al-Quraini said.

The proposed project would become the largest Sino-foreign joint venture in China and it is also expected to serve as a driving force for Kuwait towards achieving its China-bound crude oil export target of 500,000 bpd by 2015. KPC and Sinopec each hold an equal 50 percent stake in the joint venture.

Kuwait exported 224,000 bpd of crude oil to China in April, a 12-fold increase from 18,000 bpd logged in 2004. The OPEC's fourth-largest producer sticks with a goal of raising its oil output capacity to four million bpd by 2020 from the current three million bpd

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